As mentioned earlier, we are an ambitious bunch of people who wanted to try as many Michelin Starred Restaurant in HK during our short weekend trip.
The highlight of our gourmet trip was to try a Three Star Michelin Restaurant. We had originally shortlisted Caprice, the French restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Central. Unfortunately, there is no option of internet reservation and we could only call for reservation. By the time we touch down in HK and made a trip to place our reservations, it was FULLY BOOKED (for the next 1.5 weeks – both lunch & dinner). The staff told us that we could be placed on the waiting list for the day which we wanted (the day before we fly bk to SGP), but we would be 12th on the list….hmmm…wat’s the probability that all 11 reservations b4 us are all cancelled?!
Disappointed…we made our way in search of the next available option…We are open to both lunch menu or dinner menu (since lunch would be slightly cheaper, if they have a lunch set).
We visited L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon as well as Amber (both are Two Michelin Star French Restaurant) located at The Landmark in Central. Having compared their menu, we decided to try Amber’s Degustation Menu for dinner =). Amber is also listed as #37 in San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant 2011. Its an eight-course menu costing about HK$1,588 (abt S$250) per pax without wine pairing.
Our dinning seating was at 8.30pm. Service staff greeted us warmly and guided us to our table. After taking our order for the Degustation Menu, we were advised that the whole dinner would take ard 3 hours…(well, french dining pleasure is usually prolonged as they paced out the serving of each course to allow diners to appreciate each morsel of food slowly). They also checked if we have any special dietery preference and they would gladly accommodate to our requests.
Perhaps I would have enjoyed the dinner better if I’m not that tired (after 4 days of intensive walking & travelling in HK)…& hungry (we made our way to Central from Macau Day Trip…).
We started our dinner with Canapes & Amuse bouches…& we were pleasantly surprised that they served us 5 amuse bouches in total. The dish that impressed me most is the Foie Gras Lollipop which was served cold and the presentation would make most gals squeal “Kawaii~!”…
Other amuse bouches which left an impression is the Croquette, a fried ball that was recommended to finish in one bite as the centre of the ball is filled with a juicy sauce.
The appetizers finally arrived. First up is Sea Urchin in a lobster jell-O with cauliflower, caviar and crispy seaweed waffles. This is the first time I tasted Sea Urchin, wonder if I would be spoilt in future food tasting to only accept this as the minimum standard?? It was recommended to take a bite of the seaweed waffle followed by a portion of sea urchin.
Up next is the Tasmanian Salmon confit & smoked, accompanied with avocado, horseradish & granny smith apple. At this point, I had to applause the team at Amber for the synchronised presentation of the dishes so far. The presentation of this dish was equally impressive. As mentioned, the salmon has to be smoked, hence when it was presented, it actually has a globe-shaped glass sphere (filled with smoke) covering the salmon. It allows the salmon to be infused with the “charcoal” smell & taste, unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to snap a photo before they removed the glass sphere.
The Duck Foie Gras & spiny lobster ravioli , simmered with preserved black truffle, cevennes onion ‘mousselin’ in a green garden pea ‘veloute’, is slightly disappointing. The foie gras is slightly hard and I’m not a ‘pea’ lover. Though the pea taste is still acceptable for me. With that we finally finished our appetizers!!!!
Now for the main courses. Actually I can recall that while at Amber, after finishing the appetizers, I was feeling extremely sleepy… Same now for writing this extremely long post.
I’m not that impressed by the two mains. Seabass served with fennel & orange confit, ‘bottarga’ grated new potatotes, ‘bouillabaisse’ & manni olive oil emulsion. Perhaps due to the culinary method whereby the original taste of the fish is preferred, I felt that its slightly too fishy for me, thou the taste can be ‘offset’ manni olive oil emulsion.
Was looking forward to tasting the ‘david blackmore’ wagyu beef – sirloin MS9+; oven roasted, puree of 24-hour caramelised shallots. Another part of the course was ‘cocotte’ of braised short ribs with wild mushrooms & croutons.
The roasted beef was not as smooth & velvety as expected, nor as buttery & doesn’t really melt in the mouth as expected. (Perhaps my expectation is too high?!) The ‘cocotte’ braised short ribs was a tad too sweet & the gravy was a tad too thick for my taste.
The two mains are good but not great…
By now, we had been at the restaurant for 2 hours (10.30pm) and we still had to wait patiently for our Desserts. Oh forgot to mention, we replaced the french farmer cheeses with fruits instead. I duuno how to appreciate cheese…
After the fruits (which was quite standard), we were served the malaga wild strawberries – mascarpone semi freddo with liquor ‘fraise des bois’ tipsy cake. It was a piece of art. It looked so lovely, tasted great as well~
Last course was the abinao 85% chocolate – souffle with brown rum anglaise & cacao sorbet. Women always seem to have another stomach for dessert?! Despite being quite full by then, I can still savour this wonderful & yet sinful dessert. =)
The dinner ended with coffee & an assortment of petit fours served in a tiered tray. I’m proud to say I manage to finish all the desserts!!! What an indulgence!!! & finally I can go bk to rest!!! We left at around 11.45pm…
At the lift lobby, just before leaving the restaurant, they presented a gift for the lady! What a nice gesture. Here it is. A mini macaron. I’m keeping the box as a sourvenir!
That’s a wrap for this Two Star Michelin Restaurant dining experience. Considering the price of some high-end restaurants in SGP, its worth paying the $ to visit Amber. Really liked their food (from amuse bouches, appetizers to desserts – except the main course which was below my expectation, thou its still good), their impeccable service, great ambience and nice decor.
Amber, Au revoir…
[Updates on 26th Feb 13]
Amber was ranked No.4 at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Our heartiest congratulations~